New Year, New Habits

Kithia Verdon:

Ah, January. Lots of folks reject the tradition of “New Year’s Resolutions,” and for good reason: they rarely work. You need to get good at changing up your behavior and forming new habits, to make such things stick. There’s nothing magical about the first of the year on that count!

Being a self-improvement nut, though, I love the practice. Here are things on my mind to shoot for this year.

Big life things:

Live slower. Be more focused, less distracted.
Reduce my debts.
Write more.

Small life things:

Get to bed earlier and wake up earlier, preferably with a net gain of sleepytime between.
Meditate more.
Reduce my backlog of unfinished/unplayed games.
Find some ways to throw out old crap and simplify my environment.

Notably not included:

Lose weight. My low-carb eating habits, though not by any means perfect or rigorous, have fixed this just fine. Since last March when I started, I’ve lost some 15-20 pounds and have kept it off. It even drew comment on my last visit to my doctor!
Exercise more. Would do me some good, I’m sure, but it’s not a priority for me right now.

The temptation I need to stave off is trying too much at once. A more successful strategy would be to focus on one, relatively small change at a time, and really get into it. Luddite Saturdays for my distraction one are a good example. (Progress report on that one: I haven’t done it every Saturday; disruptions to my routine have tended to make me lapse or forget. But I’m enjoying it when I do it, and think it’s doing me some good.) Maybe I’ll try a tiny 15-30 minute nudge of sleep schedule first. If it works out like I hope, it might lead to more writing/meditation/slow-living as a natural effect without much special additional effort on my part!

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